Far be it from us to question Marcelo Bielsa at Leeds United but we do think that Rodrigo could have come on earlier in the 0-0 draw against Arsenal. 

He was on the bench after a bout of Covid-19 and obviously not fit enough to start.

However, he changed the game when he came on after 70 minutes, going close with a long-range shot before rattling the woodwork with his next.

He couldn’t find the net but given that Arsenal went down to 10 men after 51 minutes and started sitting back, we think there was an argument to bring on Rodrigo before Bielsa eventually let him loose.

We want to see him from the start against Everton.

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Pablo Hernandez was missing against Arsenal and, with Rodrigo on the bench, it meant Gjanni Alioski coming in at left-back and Stuart Dallas starting further up the pitch.

In a fitness update ahead of the Everton game, Bielsa confirmed that Hernandez would be missing again on Saturday.

That’s worrying on two levels. First, the ongoing fitness issues that Hernandez is suffering that started after lockdown in the Championship run-in.

Second, Hernandez hasn’t played since being dropped while fit after a petulant reaction to being subbed off against Leicester. Has the bust-up been settled? Until he’s in the team again we’ll never know.

Irrespective, given that Hernandez is out, Bielsa must give Rodrigo just his fifth start on Saturday.

Everton are enjoying life under Carlo Ancelotti at the moment.

They’re sixth in the Premier League and have one of the best attacks in the top-flight, behind only the top three (Tottenham, Liverpool and Chelsea) for goals scored.

However, they’ve also got the worst defence of any team above Leeds.

Leeds can get at them and rattle them and the best chance of getting the three points is having the best attackers on the pitch from the start.

That definitely includes Rodrigo, whether Hernandez is fit or not.

In other Leeds United news, Bielsa confirms three Leeds players out injured for clash v Everton


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